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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Biography: Andrew L. Garrett

Director of the National Disaster Medical System
Office of Emergency Management
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



Andrew Garrett, MD, MPH, is the Director of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During fiscal  year 2016 he is detailed to the White House Leadership Development Program in the Office of Management & Budget.

NDMS is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and serves as a federally coordinated system that augments the civilian emergency medical response capabilities of the United States. NDMS is agreement between the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Veteran's Affairs, and Homeland Security. The HHS component of NDMS consists of over 6000 intermittent federal employees organized into over 80 response teams such as the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs), Disaster Mortuary Response Teams (DMORTs), and the National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT).
Photograph of Andrew Garrett
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NDMS teams and personnel have responded to serve the Nation and beyond over 300 times since its inception in the early 1980's, treating tens of thousands of patients and animals after disasters, and respectfully identifying the remains of those who have perished.


Prior to this position, Dr. Garrett was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for NDMS for over two years, and he served for a year as the Interim Director of the Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC), a division of ASPR that was established to explore and address some of the critical gaps in the U.S. emergency care system.

Dr. Garrett is board certified in Pediatrics and Disaster Medicine, board eligible in EMS, and he has broad experience as a medical director for fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies. He completed a two year medical fellowship in EMS and Disaster Medicine and received a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Massachusetts in 2006. He has an adjunct appointment at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor of Preventative Medicine and Biometrics. Prior to starting at HHS, Dr. Garrett was in a senior leadership position at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health at their National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He maintains his role as an advisor on Pediatrics, Disaster Medicine, and EMS for HHS.

Past clinical experience includes serving as an attending physician in pediatric emergency medicine in Worcester, MA and three years as a pediatric transport medicine attending flight physician in Los Angeles.  Disaster fieldwork includes deployment to the 2010 Haiti earthquake as the Chief Medical Officer to the HHS Incident Response Coordination Team, the Joplin Tornado in 2011, the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster in 2010, Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 Nias Island earthquake in Indonesia, and many others.  Publications include Children and Megadisasters: Lessons Learned in the New Millennium, Public Health Disaster Research: Surveying the Field, Defining its Future, and Mitigating Absenteeism in Hospital Workers during a Pandemic.

Mr. Ronald Miller is the current Acting Director for NDMS.

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  • This page last reviewed: March 22, 2016